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Pacificor nabs ‘Terminator’

Investment fund in talks with Sony, Lionsgate

Investment fund Pacificor is in talks with Sony and Lionsgate for the rights to the “Terminator” franchise. Pacificor beat out Sony and Lionsgate to acquire the “Terminator” franchise rights for $29.5 million in an auction that concluded late Monday night.

Lionsgate and Sony had no comment but sources close to the bidding confirmed the discussions Tuesday. A bankruptcy court hearing is set for Wednesday to approve the sale by “Terminator” rights holder Halcyon Group.

Halcyon paid Mario Kassar $30 million for the “Terminator” rights in 2007, but then Halcyon filed for Chapter 11 last summer as a result of a dispute with Pacificor, which financed the purchase from Kassar.

Sony and Lionsgate had combined their bids during Monday’s auction. Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Pacificor, which has no experience in film production, also included a provision for payment to Halycon of $5 million per film for any sequel.

Lionsgate stepped up last month as the first bidder for the rights to the “Terminator” franchise with a “stalking horse” or floor bid of $15 million and a 5% cut of future gross receipts. Sony made its first bid last week.

Halcyon Group put the franchise up for sale in September.

The “Terminator” assets include the rights to future “Terminator” pics, TV series, DVDs and merchandise.

Terminator Salvation,” the fourth film in the franchise, was produced by Halcyon with Warner Bros. handling domestic distribution and Sony taking international. It carried a production pricetag of about $200 million and took in $371 million worldwide.

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